Home prices rose ever higher in 2005: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the median new-home price came in at $237,300, compared with $221,000 a year earlier—but the increases didn't keep first-time buyers out of the market. Instead, 43 percent of them financed their homes with loans that required no down payment, according to the “2005 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The median first-time buyer, the report says, put 2 percent down on a $150,000 home.